Wales opened its Rugby World Cup campaign by beating Georgia 43-14 on Monday in a contest which became much more even in the second half.

A much heavier defeat seemed inevitable when Six Nations champion Wales led 29-0 at halftime, already with a four-tries bonus point after scores from centre Jonathan Davies, flanker Justin Tipuric, left winger Josh Adams, and fullback Liam Williams.

But Georgia proved resilient and gave its fans something to be proud of with a spirited second-half comeback which produced two tries following impressive work from the forwards.

After a converted effort from hooker Shalva Mamukashvili soon after the restart, Georgia gained in confidence and even resisted for 10 minutes without conceding any points while Jaba Bregvadze was sin-binned for collapsing a rolling maul.


Wales was in check until the 65th minute when replacement flyhalf Tomos Williams had enough pace to reach winger George North's kick ahead just in time.

Wales Gareth Davies, left, is tackled by Georgia's David Kacharava. Photo / AP
Wales Gareth Davies, left, is tackled by Georgia's David Kacharava. Photo / AP

Georgia's backs hardly made an impression. The pack, however, bullied Wales at times in the second period.

Following a tap penalty near the left corner, prop Levan Chilachava bulldozed over from the back of the scrum for a converted try to trim the deficit to 36-14.

Tomos Williams then set up North for a late sixth try with a one-handed offload, and the powerful North broke two tackles.

The match at a humid City of Toyota Stadium opposed two veterans appearing in their fourth World Cup: Georgia flanker Mamuka Gorgodze and Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones, the captain, who equaled Gethin Jenkins' Wales record of 129 test caps.

Gorgodze's first moment of the match however, saw him fumble a high back straight from Wales' kickoff.

The win was comfortable enough. But Warren Gatland's side had too many lapses, and will need to improve before facing Pool D rival Australia in Tokyo on Sunday.

Milton Haig's Georgia plays Uruguay in Kumagaya, also on Sunday.